Photo Source: Joel Meyerowitz
Rick fell back into the couch, greatly enjoying the all-over buzzing and exhausted feeling that comes from a great lay. Being a conscientious renter, he had thrown a towel down on the velour couch before christening it. Afterward, he pulled the bottom of the towel between his legs, forming a hybrid diaper toga. He would get up, but not for a few minutes.
The windows were cracked, just enough to let in a slight breeze that flitted over Rick’s naked body. The smell of sand and fried seafood drifted in, along with the sound of a game show from a few doors away. And the sound of the breakers, rhythmic, mechanical, perpetual, filled the cottage.
It was the beginning. Beginning of the long weekend, beginning of a relationship, beginning of a whole new outlook. Brand new day. Rick was loving the solitude of the cottage, the white noise of the surf, the feel of the world ahead in infinite possibility, starting with the weekend. Relaxed, calm, untroubled. He lit a roach, took a deep pull, laid back and enjoyed the spreading warmth, from the beginning.
Daniel emerged from the bedroom, freshly showered and dressed for dinner. He shook his head at Rick in a tisk-tisk schoolmarm act, and said, “Well, look at this scene of degradation we have here! You’d better clean yourself up, boy. I believe our reservation was for Daniel and Rick, not Daniel and Dick.”
Rick stood up, let the towel drop, then picked it up and started an exaggerated wind-up and pitch. Daniel ducked out of the path of the towel – a curveball, low and outside – and got Rick in a bear hug.
They kissed again, and then just stood there in the living room, lingering for a few minutes, holding hands, enjoying the beginnings of it all together. No words, no sounds, no offices or deadlines or traffic or psychodrama, no appointments, no scrambling through take-out menus, no landlord pounding on the doors. No end to this beginning. Nobody else around, nothing but the gulls and the pounding surf and whatever was to come, that weekend and beyond.
Finally Daniel gave Rick a pat on the ass and said, “Better get to. Don’t want to be late.” As Rick slinked off toward the shower, Daniel picked up the towel, yelled, “And fachrissakes, will you cover yourself, you heathen?!?” and hurled the towel at his new friend. Rick stood there grinning for a nanosecond, thinking of all the possible comebacks he could unleash. But they both knew, without words, that Daniel had just won the first of many snark wars to come.
Rick picked up the pace on his shower in order to make their dinner reservation. That was the only bit of urgency to the long weekend away.